Monthly Archives: April 2010

Our Solar System

For a healthy dose of perspective, click on the picture below. There’s nothing especially uplifting or motivational about it, it’s actually more educational than anything, but you can extrapolate from the graphics just how small we are compared to the vastness of the universe.  It’s always good to recall things bigger than yourself, as it serves as a nice reminder to take life in stride and not let the little things overwhelm you.

Hint: It takes a couple seconds to get going, so be patient!

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Surrounded by Love

While sitting around the dinner table tonight with eleven of the beautiful women in my bible study group, my heart swelled with joy. Every single one of those smiles serves as living proof of God’s love. Over the past several years, our group has steadily shifted and changed, always with divine purpose, and tonight as I spent time with the gals that currently make up our group, I was overwhelmed with happiness. Doing life with these ladies – growing deep and meaningful relationships, sharing experiences and stories, and chattering about our days – has been one of the most fulfilling things I have ever been a part of. My girls have incredible depth, wisdom beyond their years, faith that is contagious, and are loads of fun. Their encouragement and enthusiasm has been such an immense blessing in navigating through this crazy maze that is known as the twenties.

Three years ago, I was hesitant to join a bible study. The opportunity was there, but I was too busy, and it didn’t fit into my schedule. My life was full, and I couldn’t fathom where I would find the time. I grudgingly attended the first session, and looking back at these excuses, I laugh at how glaringly naïve I was. How could I have thought for even one second that my plan was better than God’s plan? I am so thankful for the guidance toward that first step, for I have learned so mercifully and so gently that His plan and His timing are perfect, and that He placed me with these ladies with exact precision, knowing that their friendship would make my heart smile on a Monday night three years down the road.

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2,000

…years of chasing taking its toll….

Ahh, Kings of Leon sidetracked me there for a minute.

What I meant to say, dear readers, is that sometime yesterday my blog had its 2,000th view, and it’s all because of you! Thank you for joining me on this journey through my thoughts and musings. I’ve enjoyed sharing with you all and look forward to many more posts! I hope everybody has a beautiful weekend filled with the things they love best!

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Tendonitis and Overwork

This is the diagnosis my doctor at Campbell Clinic gave me after hours of prodding, stretching, and x-raying my grotesquely swollen right knee. Despite the fact that I am told the next time I run I will only be capable of a tenth of a mile, this is the best outcome I could have hoped for. I do not have to forego running forever, only temporarily.

Tendonitis refers to the inflammation, swelling, and irritation of tendons in the knee area. Unfortunately, once tendons have been damaged in such a way as I am experiencing, they are weak and much more susceptible to injury than before. This is not good news. My workouts are more often than not intense; bootcamp and running, that’s what I do. Weak tendons will likely not be able to tolerate the strenuous impact and exertion of this variety, at least not for a while. I am not one to take things sitting down, therefore I will work as hard as I can to overcome my injury, yet be smart and careful to not further put my health in danger.

Knee tendonitis

What does all of this mean for me?

1) I am optimistic but not unrealistic of my athletic capabilities. I am desperate to resume my normal activities, but realize that this goes with the territory of being a runner, and I will accept it for what it is. Working out has always been a natural and understood part of my day, and not doing so is foreign to me. Although I am very limited with what exercises I can do, I will say my trusty hand weights are coming in most useful….

2)  Not going out running or to the gym before and/or after work drastically frees up my time (and increases my hours of sleep). I am determined to use this time to partake in activities I previously did not have time for, such as cooking. Last night was dill salmon and mixed vegetables. Yum. These extra hours allow me to be crafty, creative, studious, and productive in areas that I previously was not.

3) I am sure that the Lord is trying to teach me something through this experience, and I whole-heartedly believe He is telling me to sloooooow down. Anyone who knows me knows that I am constantly moving one hundred miles per hour, cramming as many things into one day as physically possible. I know there is a need for relaxation and reflection, and that is exactly where I have been placed.

4) My family and friends have made every effort to make my immobility as comfortable as possible. As much as I don’t want to be this clumsy and un-self-sufficient forever, it is quite nice to be reminded that I am worth the hassle and inconvenience. Thanks, loved ones!

5) My injury may or may not change my upcoming running plans and vacations, and I’m ok with that. I am flexible and adaptable, and I will take these challenges in stride. Instead of being disappointed with this turn of events, I will look for new opportunities and open doors. That is the beauty of life.

To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) and a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

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Hot Air Balloon Festival

We arrived at the hot air balloon festival Friday evening precisely when the glowing began, which was a twenty minute period where the balloons took turns lighting up. This picture does not do the view justice, but it’s all my camera is capable of :

The next morning, I ran the festival 5k, which was quite scenic, resulted in a personal best, and was very enjoyable. Or at least that’s what I thought, until I woke up the next day unable to stand, bend, or straighten my right knee. You can read a more thorough review of that uncomfortable experience under the “races” tab at the top right corner of my blog. After the race, round two of the festival started, and we enjoyed the sunny day stretched out in a grassy field. Once we had our festival fill, we drove a piece of the scenic Natchez Trail and then headed back to Memphis.

The festival was only mediocre, but that didn’t stop us from having a blast. Sharing the  random adventure meant so much more than the destination itself.

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Sittin’ at a Red Light in Tupelo

I am doing exactly what I want to be doing right now, and that is relaxing in the passenger seat of Penelope, my trusty Corolla. Jax is the captain (O Captain My Captain), and we are cruising down 78 toward Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis. Your immediate response to that statement is more than likely, “WHY in the WORLD are you kicking off your weekend with a drive to TUPELO?!?”, and honestly, I’d be concerned if it wasn’t.

In typical Jax-O-Melon fashion (an affectionate term bestowed on us by our friends), we are heading to the destination of our most recent adventure. When scrolling through the Memphis Flyer last week, I noticed a tiny blurb advertising Up, Up, and Away, a hot air balloon festival in Tupelo. True to form, I was instantly intrigued. As one of my best friends recently put it, she and I are drawn to any activity that can be easily distinguished from any other activity in our lives, meaning we go for the unique over the norm. And lucky for me, my boyfriend shares my zest for life, and that is how we wound up on this four lane road heading south.

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Easter Eggs

Dyeing Easter eggs is every bit as delightful as it’s cracked up to be (get it, cracked?!?). I’m all about crafty activities and hands-on projects that require creativity and imagination, and dyeing eggs, though simplistic, falls nicely into this category. As luck (and planning) would have it, I dyed eggs on two separate occasions this Easter season. On Thursday night, equipped with twelve color options and a slew of stickers and eggcessories (tehe, I’m on a roll!), I created masterpieces with two of the most adorable girls on the planet.

And this is a sampling of our finished product:

I enjoyed our artistry so much, I decided to go for round two last night, and ended up with an army of vibrant egg heads (just add vinegar!). This proved to be highly amusing, as my friends and I took turns mimicking the silly faces we were creating.

As entertaining as all of this was, it is just a small detail of Easter, and one that pales in comparison to the significance of its true meaning. Easter is not about colorful eggs, it’s about a loving Lord who conquered death so that we can live meaningful lives full of His purpose and hope. And that is way better than any Easter egg. 

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Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

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